A Difficult Surgery

For a year, Jennifer had been putting up with back pain. An MRI scan later showed that a spur was severely compressing her spinal canal and nerves, putting her at risk of paralysis. 

Upon diagnosis, she consulted multiple doctors, all warning her of a high surgery risk. She persevered and found an alternative surgical proposal. Jennifer decided to go for it. However, when she woke up post-operation, she was unable to move her left leg. 

Instead of being worried and anxious, Jennifer’s first reaction was a cheer. “I’m still alive!” She knew that she now has to focus on rehabilitation and recovery. 

After transferring to St Luke’s Hospital, her therapists sat with her to draft a treatment plan together. To help Jennifer achieve her desired rehabilitation objective as much as possible, she was also recruited into the exoskeletal trial to maximise her rehabilitation outcome. “Based on the report, when I started out, I had to rely at least 70% on the machine to complete a step. Now, I only need 40% assistance from the machine to walk. It may seem small, but it’s good progress for me,” she said optimistically.

Her therapists were happy with her improvements. “On admission, Jennifer required moderate assistance to transfer from bed to wheelchair, and two persons to assist her whenever she walks with a walking frame. Within two weeks, her required assistance scaled down to only transfers and the ability to walk with one person’s assistance,” said physiotherapist Yap Thian Yong.

To Thian Yong, her highly motivated attitude and compliance to the exercises, plays a big part in her rehabilitation progress. 

Jennifer is now continuing her rehabilitation journey at our Day Rehabilitation Centre. 

[Photo caption] One day before discharge, Jennifer was able to walk and cross over steps and curbs, with two crutches and one person’s assistance.